TinkerLab Book Blog Tour: Q&A with Rachelle Doorley

 Tinkerlab take two

 Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, if you’re interested in promoting creativity, problem solving, curiosity, critical thinking, and tinkering in the lives of the children you love and teach, then get ready —- you’re going to love Rachelle Doorley’s new book,Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors(*affiliate link).

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Filed under Child Development & DAP, Create, Learning through Play and Experience, Uncategorized

It’s OK NOT to Share Section 5: Creativity, Persistence, and Empty Praise


I promise I didn’t read ahead!

But I’ve written quite a few posts recently that dovetail right in with what Heather Shumaker wrote in this next section of her book, It’s OK Not to Share (*affiliate link).  So when I hopped in to read this section, it was another “Amen” session for me!

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Filed under Create

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts (Yes, Both!) for Kids

arts and crafts

It’s funny how we often debate things with a black/white, either/or paradigm.

Like whether preschool is for play or learning, for instance.

Or order vs chaos.  (Controlled chaos for me, please.)

Or a little bit country vs a little bit rock n roll.


Or arts and crafts.


Yes, for many in the early education/child development world, the debate about arts and crafts rages on, with nary a UN negotiator to step in and help.

Like most debates, however, camping out in either extreme generally misses the point.

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How To Turn Photography Into A Personalized Learning Opportunity With Your Kids – Part 2

Here’s the promised second installment from the fabulous Beryl Young, creator of Momtographie*(Find Part 1 here.)

Using photos to teach

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Filed under Building Readers, Learning through Play and Experience, Uncategorized

It’s OK NOT to Share Section 4b: Kids, Power, and Action (Part 2)

weapon play

Weapon play.  Gender-Bender play.  These are the play themes that press against our comfort zones and challenge our perspectives.

And they’re topics that author Heather Shumaker isn’t afraid to jump right in on in her book, It’s OK Not to Share (*affiliate link).

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Filed under Child Development & DAP



Happy Mother’s Day!

As I’ve mentioned before in an old post of mine that’s been making the rounds again, Mother’s Day is a wonderful chance to celebrate all the amazing, selfless things moms do every day.  But for some moms, it can also be  day-long guilt-fest, comparing our own short-comings to an imaginary “Mother’s Day Mom” ideal.  We see a composite view of strangers’ best qualities and compare that against our own shortcomings, which are all too familiar.

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Filed under Quick Thought / Hot Topic, Uncategorized

Weekend Reads 5.9.14



A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy {NYT}

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Filed under Uncategorized, Weekend Reads

Big Art Projects for Small Artists

big art

Any invitation to create yields wonderful benefits for children!  Self-expression, fine motor skills, and creative thinking are all brought to the table every time.  Art can even be therapeutic! But there’s something special that happens when you work on a bigger scale.  With big art projects, larger motor movements are often encouraged, strengthening both the small muscles in the hand, used in most art projects, but also inviting the larger muscle groups in the arms, and sometimes even the whole body!  With a larger project and bigger movements, kids who typically steer clear of the art table are often more easily enticed.  Big art projects also add a social and linguistic element as kids often work together to fill up such a big canvas.  And with such big projects and big movements, outdoors is often an ideal studio — perfect for this time of year! Continue reading



Filed under Create, Uncategorized